Japan Table of Contents
Japanese women are joining the labor force in unprecedented numbers. In 1987 there were 24.3 million working women (40 percent of the labor force), and they accounted for 59 percent of the increase in employment from 1975 to 1987. The participation rate for women in the labor force (the ratio of those working to all women aged fifteen and older) rose from 45.7 percent in 1975 to 50.6 percent in 1991 and was expected to reach 50 percent by 2000.
The growing participation of women reflected both supply and demand factors. Industries such as wholesaling, retailing, banking, and insurance have expanded, in large part because of the effective use of women as part-time employees (see Age Structure , ch. 2).
Data as of January 1994